The tatting community used to participate in numerous round robins. Many of them were hosted by Etha Schuette "Maus" so that we all got to see what wonderful laces were being made. Often the things created were one of a kind and the designers graciously shared their patterns with us. Pirating of the treasures from that site led to it being shut down, which was too bad because it was a source of endless inspiration.
Recently I was asked if there were any round robins currently going on and there aren't that I can find, but several people have expressed interest in doing a round robin. Others don't know what a round robin is. Just so that I don't keep repeating myself, this is how a round robin works.
A round robin is kind of like an exchange except that it has 3 or more participants. They may be making individual motives or they may be working on larger items like a doily. Before they start everyone is given a list of the likes and dislikes of the participants. For example one person might want fine thread and another only size 20. One might want beads included and another might want everything done in purple to match their decor. The names (real names) addresses both email and street addresses are shared among the participants. All of the participants agree on a project type like snowflakes, hearts, butterflies, bookmarks, doilies etc. All of the participants work within a specified time table.
These hearts were from a round robin I participated in some years ago and they have been appliqued onto a shirt so that I can see them and use them regularly. I wanted everything in pink or red and no beads because I expected to wear the shirt often.
Let's say for example that the round robin is for 3 inch snowflakes done in size 20 thread (or 40 Olympus, or 8 DMC perle, see my earlier post on thread sizes) and each snowflake is to be completed in one month. So if we have 5 participants, let's label them A, B, C, D, and E it works like this:
Each participant tats a 3 inch snowflake, it may be their original design or it might be a published design and before the one month deadline they mail it to the next person on the list.
A sends to B, B sends to C, C sends to D, D sends to E, E sends to A
A B C D E
B C D E A
C D E A B
D E A B C
E A B C D
When each participant receives their first package, they take a look at the snowflake and tat a second different snowflake and within a month send both snowflakes on to the next person on the list.
Each month the participants receive a package containing the snowflakes done by other participants, they look at what has already been done and tat another snowflake different from the ones in the package. They have the opportunity to see other people's handiwork and admire their skills and in turn they have the opportunity to have their own skills admired by others. After 6 months the participants will each get back their original package with the snowflake they tatted and 4 new ones, one each from the other participants. So they will tat and give 5 snowflakes and receive 5 different snowflakes (the starting snowflake they give to themselves).
A variation on this is a round robin for designing doilies where each participant starts a doily centre and then passes it on. Each participant designs and tats a round for the doily and passes it on so that A does the first row, B does the second row, C does the third row, D does the fourth row and E does the final row before returning it to A. This type of round robin gives each tatter the opportunity to practice designing and they only have to create one row at a time. Since doilies get larger with each row they often use a staggered schedule where the first row is forwarded in 2 weeks and the last row is given 2 or 3 months. Schedules also have to be adjusted when international robins are done to allow for increased shipping times. At the end, each participant has a new, one of a kind doily.
Others can enjoy the fun of these challenges vicariously when the pictures of the tatting are posted regularly. Each person takes a scan or digital picture and posts it on the internet for everyone to see. So as the snowflakes, hearts, bookmarks or rounds of the doilies are completed pictures are posted where everyone can enjoy them. Sometimes, where the patterns are original the designers may choose to provide the pattern as well.
If you would like to participate in a round robin email me at the address shown. If there is enough interest I will see about setting one up. Let me know at what skill level you consider yourself and whether or not you would be interested in an international round robin. Bear in mind that a round robin is a commitment of some time.
Note: The reason for the email address in the picture at the right, is so that people can email me. Contacting people through blogs is time consuming and when I match folks up with partners I'll need home addresses so that the round robin packages can be sent. So if you want to join the round robin, please contact me by email so that I can get back to you with your group of happy tatters and their addys. Please and thanks folks.